Team Fortress 2 has gotten a new beta game mode, and it’s a pretty huge departure for the free-to-play multiplayer shooter. Mostly because you can zip around the map like Spider-Man, courtesy of the new grappling hook.
The new mode, called Mannpower, comes as part of the game’s annual Smissmas update alongside a handful of new weapons and hats. Essentially a CTF variant designed to be played at a much faster pace, Mannpower also introduces nine powerups that affect gameplay in a big way, allowing players to recover health when they deal damage, increase their movement speed and fire rate, and increase weapon accuracy, to name a few. These buffs can be picked up where they spawn on the map or stolen from downed foes, but players can only carry one at a time.
But the flashy addition is obviously the grappling hook, which can be used just about anywhere on the map (or other players) to zip from place to place in a straight line. The added mobility is a huge upset to the traditional TF2 pecking order, and it’s already being used to develop crazy new strategies, like the above video from YouTuber Delfy that shows some pretty slick backstab setups as a Spy.
Be warned, however, that everything in Mannpower is still very much in beta, with Valve explicitly stating that the release is designed to get feedback from the community, not represent final quality. Powerup balance is probably a little funky at the moment, judging by reports, and the art for the grappling hook is an obvious work in progress. Plus, it’s possible to grapple to some pretty unkosher places on the two maps that have been reworked for Mannpower, so keep an eye out for magical sky sentries.
If you’d like to give Mannpower a shot, you can download and play TF2 for free through Steam on PC, Mac, and Linux.